Love, Family, and its Social Impact
Contributed by Shk. Abdul Latif Mbalati,
Love is in a way a pivot for all human activities. It springs from the intellect about which Allah said “I have never created a creature better than you, more obedient to me than you, more dearer to me than you. Through you my unity is confessed, through you I am worshipped (loved), through you I am supplicated (asked for favours), through you I am hoped for (desired).”
Namely, the greatest aspiration which the intellect strives to achieve and to discharge is love. In essence all our activities are either reflected in what we love or are aimed at achieving approval and appreciation of our beloved. With the exception of our Creator, who really deserves our love more? The one whom we have had the privilege to nurture and shape in the mould of our own like-ness. There are no debates that every creature loves its offspring. The Qur’an doesn’t tell us to love our children, it assets that we already do. In Chapter Baqara, The Qur’an warns us to be careful of the harm of acting improperly because of this love of our children. It exhorts us to save ourselves and our children from the harm of ill-conceived and misdirected love.
And they say, “Our Lord, let our spouses and children be a source of joy for us, and keep us in the forefront of the righteous.” Qurán 25:74
A woman is the nucleus, an ultimate approximation of the beloved and any household. The reality of her outer beauty is in need of the inner beauty to complete and enhance it. In the absence of this inner beauty, it is like an affair which began without Allah, the ultimate purpose and aim of everything.
An ideal child, who grows to become the perfect adult in his capacity, is a product of a solemn bond between man and wife. That child is a tribute of their love, affection and commitment to each other, as well as commitment to the purpose for which they have been created. This child is a representation of his parents endeavour to express who they are and what they really stood for. He is an articulation of their innermost emotions that were communicated, and success-fully imprinted in the young mind of their offspring.
Our nature requires that we become households that are members of a larger community, society, or nations. The audience of the Qur’an is the individuals, communities and nations. The house of our beloved Prophet Muhammad (saww) and that of his brother Imam Ali (as), serves as an example, where Allah demonstrates His words and command. The inhabitants of these homes dwell in affection and mercy for each other. Love is reciprocated and appreciated as a favour and privilege which was not deserved. Though this love the off-spring of these households have continued the legacy of their parents and remain treasures to the world’s nations till the end of time. Loving our offspring is actually love for the self. Through our offspring we have the certainty that we will live on and our good names and deeds will continue. Our offspring are the superficial means of our contribution to existence; therefore we have an obligation, to make sure that our offspring are provided with all preliminaries of everlasting life.